Ok..Ok…It might appear that I am bagging Australians unjustly but it just seems to me that every time some white guy in the media opens their mouth lately they do it merely to exchange feet.
I mean the President of the Collingwood Australian Rules football team, Eddie MacGuire has just recently rotated his metatarsals over the Adam Goodes affair and now Howard Sattler has, not only had his ethics as a broadcaster brought into question under the “Cash For Comment” enquiry, he has also asked the Prime Minister a question relating to the sexuality of her personal partner…
I mean do all middle class white guys of a ‘”certain age” think the world still revolves around them?
From the personal experience of trying to build an architect designed house in regional New South Wales I would say sexism, just as much as racism and homophobia is alive and well and unfortunately all too prevalent in the country of Australia.
What right does anyone in Australia, or for that matter anywhere in the world, have to ask a person bearing public office about their partner if that person is not directly involved in the public office being borne.. If their only relevance to that public office is they just happen to be the office bearers other half?
The fact that some middle class white guy feels no caution about asking a Prime Minister about their spouse or partner, let alone the sexuality of the said spouse or partner, completely flabbergasts me…. But wait did Sattler ask Prime Minister John Howard about… now what was her name?…oh you know the Prime Minister John Howard’s wife…whether she was gay?
No of course it wasn’t Prime Minister John Howard… because you would never ask a bloke anything about his missus would you? Mrs Howard, who being a woman doesn’t even rate a first name for the most part, obviously had no direct involvement with the power broking or decision making of John Howards government. Strangely she appears as almost invisible.
Yet the Prime Minister Julia Gillard has had to deal with many deeply injurious personal comments being made by so many middle class white guys of a “certain” age during her Prime Ministership that one would imagine that she must retire to her own personal space at the end of every day and burst into tears.
I know if I had to deal with some of the stuff that she had to deal with that I would weep with anger and frustration at the stupidity and utter, well stupidity, of these middle class white men that still think they rule the world.
The fact is that this kind of insult doesn’t just stop there…If some idiot radio “personality” has enough chutzpah to ask what he did of Prime Minister Gillard… isn’t he merely echoing what most men are secretly thinking? Does this level of disrespect then not filter down to all women everywhere no matter what their rank or position?
This is an election year and Australian politics being politics in Australia the pundits are all baying for blood… Gillard hasn’t done this or achieved that….well if she hasn’t its probably been because she has been busy dealing with the varied range of egos of the white middle class men of a ‘certain’ age in her party…
Which is in disarray according to most would be donkey voters…
And Julia hasn’t seemed to have won the hearts of many women either…One must ponder why even Germaine Greer, an icon of the original feminist movement, could lower herself only to make a personal comment about the Prime Ministers appearance…
I would suggest it is because Germaine, all theories aside, is being just as sexist as the best of them. I would suggest that judging by the unthinking dominance of the patriarchal landscape of this country that women, just as much as men, are uncomfortable with a woman leader.
Not just because the Prime Minister is a woman, but her style of leadership is far more womanly than we as Australians have ever experienced before. Most of us are used to blowhard male politicians telling us how they individually are ruling the world…guess they have all been middle class white men of a ‘certain’ age… while Gillard approaches leadership from a much more communal and quiet position.
Sure there are glaring omissions in some of things the labour party has refused to approach, like the Northern Territory Intervention, mining tax, refugees and gay marriage and I would like to make a bet that Prime Minister Gillard will recant on all of these when she leaves office… but at the moment she is doing her best to satisfy the majority of people, which after all are the constituents of Australia. Its what women do..try and please all the people all the time…If you will, its a more pluralistic vision than that of the patriarchy…
Meanwhile our erstwhile opposition leader, Tony “The Mad Monk” Abbott, a very middle class white guy of a ‘certain’ age (please no more ‘budgie smugglers’… eeeew) would only do more to harm the position of women in this country (I remember my first year at Sydney University when he had wrested control of the Student Representative Council and systematically stripped funding from any service that applied specifically to women) than a so called ‘struggling’ PM.
Of course most people conveniently forget the fact that our economy did not end in the toilet like so many other economies across the world…but because Julia has not yelled everyone down with a man voice boasting about it, its almost like what she says goes unheard…
I believe that sexism is so deeply ingrained in the Australian psyche that less attention has been paid to Sattler’s insulting behaviour than it merits. If it had been America I think he probably would have been charged with treason.
Today image is a still I shot of a movie called ‘The Ancient Rites Of Cory McGillis”…its a bit in vogue today as Brad Pitt’s movie “World War Z” and Kiah Roache-Turner’s movie ‘Wyrmwood’ celebrate the ‘living dead’ amongst us… dare I posit that they would all be white middle class men of a ‘certain’ age?